This section is from the book "Handbook Of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science", by Henry S. Munro. Also available from Amazon: Handbook of Suggestive Therapeutics, Applied Hypnotism, Psychic Science.
This is an age of dynamics. It is a day when all minds are turned in search of the laws that govern hidden forces. The intelligent comprehension and utilization of nature's forces, through compliance with the laws that govern them, has revolutionized the external world of travel, manufacture, and communication. Step by step humanity is entering upon the field of finer forces. Electricity, a force unseen, through intelligent compliance with the laws that govern it, is utilized as never before for the comfort and happiness of man. Man's progress in the scale of evolution has been just in that degree that he has utilized forces governed by laws not previously understood and has appropriated them for his happiness and welfare.
We are in the world for growth, and to help to raise humanity in the scale of evolution is the only worthy purpose of all human endeavor and achievement. Each individual represents just so much energy, and by his use or abuse of this inherent life force is he a factor for good or evil.
As physicians, we are on the threshold of a great awakening to a conscious realization of a higher conception of our duty toward our patients, and of the potency of our influence upon determining their present and future health and happiness. By degrees, step by step - slowly, but surely - are we getting away from the superstition that has so long darkened our conception of life. From the time that the little ameba began to develop by sucking into its jelly-self nutriment from the water around it; from the time that its little jelly cousin, the moneron, put out his first pseudopodium, there began the journey toward and the feeling out after a higher conception of life. Long and tedious has been the way - slow and painful has been the ascent from darkness to light. The law of evolution in even the lower realm or sphere of life has never mocked an ameba or a moneron. The faculties back of the ameba and moneron realm, whereby they found what they reached out after, were no more natural than those that move us to seek a higher conception of life. The infant reached out hand and mouth for food; it was there. So, the real man, the higher self, which is here in a material nursery, is in the infant stage of existence - it seems to manifest itself in a truer sense.
If the little ameba was not mocked, shall he be?
In the light of present-day knowledge we are warranted in having a high degree of optimism in regard to the laws of heredity and training. The time was when there was an overpowering sense of the absolute dependence of phenomena of all sorts, including the supreme one of will, upon visible, tangible, material elements in the physical body and its activities, but now there is a growing consciousness of self-activity and freedom. Pessimism as a philosophy has not the sway that it had yesterday, and we are dwelling more and more upon the importance of education and training as a basis of character and health. We now realize that the mind, as the result of education and training, contributes to the development of the body as much as the body contributes to the growth and development of the mind; that mind and body are inseparable, both constituting a manifestation of the real self in action, and that in every human being there exists an inherent quality of psychophysical force, capable of a high degree of development, which he must use for his welfare and happiness.
A better understanding of the laws governing the development of the power that we are all using, either ignorantly or intelligently, should be the means of helping each individual to better use his life forces for the advancement of self and for the good of others, aiding them in the struggle for the achievement of happiness and health - the greatest incentives to the activities of the human race.
It is now clearly established by the advanced thinkers, who have gotten over the stunned and stunning stages of the light that evolution has shed upon us, that some individuals of all races have not reached the point of development where the self-conscious ego is capable of taking their lives into their own hands. Their heredity, environment, and education have not been such as to produce normally developed personalities, and it is not any fault of their own that such is the case. Such people will be the helpless dependents upon others to think and do for them as long as they live. These children of fate are everywhere in evidence. They feel the need of something, and, like helpless worms, are driven in the direction of least resistance. There can be no higher function of a physician than that of getting such patients who come to us for aid to act upon an idea or a series of ideas and execute them consciously or subconsciously, in order that their lives may be brought under its influence, and the individual be so adapted to his environment that he is not only qualified to meet the exigencies incident to the struggle for existence, but that also health and happiness be maintained.
The universe was made for man, and all of nature's forces are beneficent and are placed here for his utilization. By intelligent conformity to nature's laws, health and happiness may be maintained; but for violation of or opposition to nature's laws, disease, impotency, or premature death are the penalty.
In the study of the laws governing the formation of viewpoints, beliefs, convictions, psychic traits, dispositions, and mental habits, suggestion, or an idea aroused in the mind of the individual by impressions from without, or conveyed by spoken words from one mind to another, is found to be the dominant factor. Moreover, we find that suggestion is a powerful factor in developing the mind and in determining the functions of the physical organism, as is illustrated by its employment on persons in the state of normal waking consciousness or in the hypnotic state.
Perhaps no one subject has been so much abused as the subject of suggestion, employed with or without the induction of the hypnotic state, by the very class of people who use this all-potent factor, which they either ignorantly or maliciously deny, as the force by which most of their results as curative measures are obtained. I refer to Christian scientists, osteopaths, Weltmerites, faith healers, and such like. To point out the danger which attends the ignorant use of suggestion, both with and without the aid of hypnotism, as well as the possibility of benefit that may accrue from its intelligent use as an adjunct in the practice of medicine, is my purpose.